hailsham of st marylebone

Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone

Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC (9 October 190712 October 2001), formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham (1950–1963), was a British judge and Conservative politician.


Born in London, Hogg was the son of Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham, who was Lord Chancellor under Stanley Baldwin and grandson of another Quintin Hogg, a merchant and philanthropist. He attended Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, and embarked on an academic career, becoming a Fellow of All Souls in 1931. Although he had originally read classics, he won his prize fellowship in law and was called to the bar in 1932. His favourite hobby was mountain-climbing, and his ankles were broken so many times that in old age he was only able to walk with two canes.

Politics and World War Two

In 1938, Hogg was chosen as a candidate for Parliament in the Oxford by-election. This election took place shortly after the Munich Agreement and the Labour candidate Patrick Gordon-Walker was persuaded to step down to allow a unified challenge to the Conservatives; A.D. Lindsay, the Master of Balliol College fought as an 'Independent Progressive' candidate. In the end Hogg defeated Lindsay.

Hogg voted against Neville Chamberlain in the Norway Debate of May 1940, and supported Winston Churchill. He served briefly in the desert campaign as a platoon commander with the Rifle Brigade during World War II. His commanding officer had been his contemporary at Eton; after him and the second-in-command, Captain Hogg was the third-oldest officer in the battalion. After a knee wound in August 1941, which almost cost him his right leg, Hogg was deemed too old for further front-line service, and later served on the staff of General "Jumbo" Wilson before leaving the army with the rank of major. In the run-up to the 1945 election, Hogg wrote a response to the book Guilty Men, called The Left was never Right .

Conservative minister

Hogg's father died in 1950 and the younger Hogg was forced to move to the House of Lords as 2nd Viscount Hailsham. Believing his political career to be over he concentrated on the Bar for some years, becoming Head of his Chambers, and did not at first hold office when the Conservatives returned to power in 1951. He later became First Lord of the Admiralty under Eden in 1956, and under Macmillan served as Chairman of the Party and campaign organiser for the 1959 general election.

In June 1963 when his fellow Minister John Profumo had to resign after admitting telling lies to Parliament about his private life Lord Hailsham attacked him savagely on television. The following evening Profumo's brother-in-law, Lord Balfour of Inchrye Harold Balfour, 1st Baron Balfour of Inchrye remarked on live television that "When a man has by self-indulgence acquired the shape of Lord Hailsham sexual continence requires no more than a sense of the ridiculous".

He was Leader of the House of Lords when Harold Macmillan, the Prime Minister, announced his sudden resignation for health reasons at the start of the 1963 Conservative Party conference. At that time there was no formal ballot for the Conservative Party leadership. Lord Hailsham, who was at first Macmillan's preferred successor, announced that he would use the newly-enacted Peerage Act to disclaim his title and fight a by-election and return to the House of Commons. His publicity-seeking antics at the Party Conference (eg. feeding his newborn baby in public, and allowing his supporters to distribute "Q" (for Quintin) badges) were considered vulgar at the time, so in the end Macmillan did not encourage senior party members to choose Hogg as his successor.

Hogg failed to win the leadership bid but did win his father's old constituency of St Marylebone. He remarked to a journalist "After all, I am only 55. Perhaps about 1970 if there was a Tory government some ass might make me Lord Chancellor" - a remark which caused some amusement when in June 1970 there was a Conservative (also known as "Tory") government and Edward Heath did indeed make him Lord Chancellor.

Hogg as a campaigner was known for his robust rhetoric and theatrical gestures. He was usually in good form in dealing with hecklers, a valuable skill in the 1960s, and was prominent in the 1964 general election. At one point, when a Labour Party supporter waved a Harold Wilson placard in front of him, Hogg smacked it with his walking stick.

He served in the Conservative shadow cabinet during the Wilson government, and built up his practice at the Bar where one of his clients was the Prime Minister and his political opponent, Harold Wison. When Edward Heath won the 1970 general election he received a life peerage as Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, of Herstmonceaux in the County of Sussex, and became Lord Chancellor. Hogg was the first to return to the House of Lords as a life peer after having disclaimed an hereditary peerage. Hailsham's choice of Lord Widgery as Lord Chief Justice was criticised by his opponents, although he later redeemed himself in the eyes of the profession by appointing Lord Lane to succeed Widgery.

Retirement and death

Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone announced his retirement after the end of the Heath government in 1974. He coined the term 'elective dictatorship' in 1976, later writing a detailed exposition, The Dilemma of Democracy. However, when his second wife Mary was killed in a riding accident in 1978 in Sydney, he decided to return to active politics and served again as Lord Chancellor from 1979 to 1987 under Margaret Thatcher'.

Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1975 and became a Knight of the Garter in 1988. On his death his title was inherited by his son Douglas Hogg. Due to the Labour government's House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the automatic link between hereditary peerages and the right to sit in the House of Lords, it was not necessary for the 3rd Viscount to disclaim his viscountcy to remain as a MP.


Perhaps his most important book was the Penguin paperback "The Case for Conservatism," first published in 1947 in the aftermath of the crushing Conservative election defeat of 1945. Aimed at the mass market and the layman, it presents a well-written and coherent case for Conservatism.

According to the book, the role of Conservatism is not to oppose all change but to resist and balance the volatility of current political fads and ideology, and to defend a middle position that enshrines a slowly-changing organic humane traditionalism.

For example, in the 19th-century, Conservatives opposed classic Liberalism, favouring factory regulation, market intervention, and various controls to mitigate the effects of laissez faire capitalism, but in the 20th-century, the role of Conservativism was to oppose a danger from the opposite direction, the excessive regulation, intervention, and controls favoured by Socialism.

The book was published as a companion to "Labour Marches On" by John Parker M.P.

Lord Hailsham was also known for his writings on faith and belief. In 1975 he published his spiritual autobiography The Door Wherein I Went, which included a brief chapter in Christian apologetics, using legal arguments concerning the evidences for the life of Christ. The book included a particularly moving passage about suicide; when he was a young man his half-brother had taken his own life and the experience left him with a deep conviction that suicide is always wrong. His writings on Christianity have been the subject of discussion in the writings of Ross Clifford. Lord Hailsham revisited themes of faith in his memoirs A Sparrow's Flight, and the book's title alluded to remarks about sparrows and faith recorded in Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew.

Private Life

Lord Hailsham was married three times. His first marriage of ten years to Natalie Sullivan ended in divorce when he returned from the war to find her, as he later put it in a television interview, "not alone"; she was in fact with de Gaulle's chef de cabinet, François Coulet, with whom she was to spend the rest of her life. His second marriage to Mary Evelyn Martin lasted 34 years until her accidental death, in front of her husband, in a horse riding accident. Hogg remarried in 1978 to Deirdre Margaret Shannon Aft who also predeceased him.

His children, all by his second wife, Mary Evelyn Martin, are:


  • The Door Wherein I Went (London: Collins, 1975).
  • A Sparrow's Flight: Memoirs (London: HarperCollins, 1990).

Discussion of Lord Hailsham's faith

  • Ross Clifford, Leading Lawyers Case for the Resurrection (Alberta: Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy, 1996).

Titles from birth to death

  • Quintin Hogg, Esq (1907–1929)
  • The Hon. Quintin Hogg (1929–1938)
  • The Hon. Quintin Hogg, MP (1938–1950)
  • The Rt Hon. The Viscount Hailsham (1950–1953)
  • The Rt Hon. The Viscount Hailsham, QC (1953–1956)
  • The Rt Hon. The Viscount Hailsham, PC, QC (1956–1963)
  • The Rt Hon. Quintin Hogg, QC, MP (1963–1970)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, PC, QC (1970–1975)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, CH, PC, QC (1975–1988)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC (1988–2001)

External links

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